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US lawmakers call for street named after dissident

A US congressional panel has passed a bill to rename the street facing the Chinese Embassy in Washington after noted Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Members of the House Appropriations Committee voted for the renaming on Tuesday.

The bill calls on Secretary of State John Kerry to rename the street in northwestern Washington "Liu Xiaobo Plaza".

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate is serving 11 years in prison for trying to subvert state power.

A Republican lawmaker who proposed the change says that renaming the street will send a clear and strong message that the US government will not overlook any human rights problems around the world.

The bill now goes to the full House for debate by lawmakers.

A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy told NHK that the US action is a farce and runs counter to efforts to promote cooperative relations between the 2 countries.

Jun. 26, 2014 - Updated 00:09 UTC